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By Newsday Reporters
26th April 2005

According to unconfirmed reports late last night, Attorney General John Jeremie is said to be seriously ill at his home. The nature of his illness has not been disclosed, but usually reliable sources said that the AG might be suffering with a heart condition and other complications. Jeremie has been away from his office for a few weeks and, last week, his office issued a brief statement saying that he had been granted a temporary leave of absence due to illness. The release did not say how long the sick leave would last. However, there has been no announcement of his condition since, or when he may be returning to work and, in the interim, who is acting in the portfolio. Jeremie was absent from this weekend's sports and family day, where Cabinet ministers called Team Cabinet enjoyed a fete match.

As Attorney General, Jeremie's position in the Cabinet is second only to Prime Minister Patrick Manning and, in fact, when a Government is appointed, the post of AG is announced simultaneously since, according to the TT Constitution, a Cabinet must be constituted of at least a Prime Minister and an Attorney General. Jeremie assumed the post in 2003 after his predecessor Glenda Morean left to assume the position of TT's High Commissioner to London. Prior to his appointment as AG, Jeremie ran his own law firm. Jeremie has been in the news in recent months with respect to the inquiry into Chief Justice Sat Sharma, and is a principal complainant against the CJ.

Jeremie's statement to Manning, dated January 5, 2005, was one of three alleging that the CJ had overstepped his bounds and interfered in the murder case against surgeon Dr Vijay Naraynsingh, who was charged with the murder of his second wife Chandra, but who was subsequently freed in the Magistrates' Court. However, Narynsingh's third wife, Seeromanie Maharaj Naraynsingh, and a southern businessman were committed to stand trial for Chandra's murder. In his statement, Jeremie said the CJ told him that there was no way that Naraynsingh could be guilty of the murder of his second wife.

The Patrick Manning Cabinet has had its fair share of illnesses; starting with the Prime Minister himself who has paid several visits to Cuba in the past three years and, on one of these had a pacemaker installed. His right hand man, Minister of Public Administration and Information, Dr Lenny Saith, had to be treated in Miami for septicaemia after complications following a period of illness. Also ill was Minister in the Social Development, Christine Kangaloo, who underwent treatment abroad last year for breast cancer. Also on the sick list has been junior minister Eulalie James, MP for Laventille West, who had to be hospitalised recently at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex for complications from diabetes, after a cut on her leg refused to heal.

Trinidad and Tobago News

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